This week should have been the start of the 2020 IIHF Women’s World Hockey Championship. However, that event was cancelled back in March because of the coronavirus outbreak. Ever since the NHL paused their season, networks have been showing replays of hockey games, mostly NHL and men’s Olympics. We wondered, through over two weeks, if there was going to be a day dedicated to women’s hockey.
It appears one network has taken notice to our cry to promote women’s hockey more on television. This Tuesday, NHL Network will be airing a full day dedicated to women’s hockey. That is something we here at the Women’s Hockey Tribune, and those on numerous other sites, have been pushing for over the last couple of weeks.
Starting at 8:00am on Tuesday and running through 5:00am on Wednesday, fans of women’s hockey will get their fix in. NHL Network will replay all five games from the 2019 World Championships and three games from the 2019-20 Rivalry Series, including the record-breaking game that saw 13,000 plus fans watch a women’s hockey game in Anaheim.
Here is the schedule for your viewing pleasure:
- 8 a.m. – USA vs Finland (4/4/19)
- 10 a.m. – Canada vs USA (4/6/19)
- 12 p.m. – USA’s Quarterfinal against Japan (4/11/19)
- 2 p.m. – USA’s Semifinal against Russia (4/13/19)
- 4 p.m. – Gold Medal Game against Finland (4/14/19)
- 7 p.m. – Rivalry Series between Canada and USA (2/5/20)
- 9 p.m. – Rivalry Series between Canada and USA (2/8/20)
- 11 p.m. – Gold Medal Game between Finland and USA (4/14/19)
- 1 a.m. – Rivalry Series between Canada and USA (12/17/19)
- 3 a.m. – Rivalry Series between Canada and USA (12/17/19)
While this is great news, these games will not be seen in their entirety. The games have been blocked off into two-hour segments. The same thing happened to the replay of the 2018 Olympic Women’s Gold Medal ice hockey game between Canada and the United States on Sunday on NBC. Again, like with most replays of games aired on NHL Network, things are cut out for time. With NBC, however, there was no reason to cut one of the more important games in American hockey history to air a replay of a golf tournament that no one cared about. There was time to show the whole game for those who did not stay up on that February night in 2018.
Those looking at the schedule may see a three-hour gap between the 4 p.m and 7 p.m. games. The reason for that is the NHL Network will be showing one of the original series entitled “Orchestrating an Upset: the 1996 World Cup of Hockey.” Of course, the women could not have an entire day to themselves. There had to be some men’s hockey on. I will give NHL Network credit for this. Usually at 6:00pm most people are eating dinner and watching the news anyway. This is just here to fill time before the Rivalry Series is shown.
Over the past two weeks, we have looked at why the time has been right with no sports happening to promote the game of women’s hockey on television. Specifically looking at and calling out the major networks like NBC/NBCSN, NHL Network and ESPN to air women’s hockey. Considering NHL Network was a major supporter of women’s hockey, it was odd to see them not show any games. This past year alone they showed every game of the 2019-20 Rivalry Series and it drew good numbers. Not to mention, every year they have shown the Women’s World Hockey Championships. It is good to see one network acknowledge the existence of women’s hockey.
Hopefully, NBC/NBCSN shows more great Olympic women’s highlights or women’s hockey games in general. I can’t emphasize the importance of getting eyes on women’s hockey with the NHL season at a standstill. We here at the Women’s Hockey Tribune would like to thank NHL Network for listening to us for the need to have women’s hockey on television. This is just a small battle that has been won. The fight is far from over.